The new edible garden provides experiential learning opportunities for patients
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation are celebrating the opening of their Edible Garden and Mindfulness Path, thanks to a $78,375 donation by Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. The garden and path are located on the hospital’s third-floor terrace, which is the largest outdoor pedestrian space at the hospital.
The newly revamped outdoor area features a painted “Mindfulness Path,” thoughtfully designed as an enclosed walking route. The path features kid-friendly designs and games such as hop-scotch. Along the path are metal planters and a living wall of house plants, herbs, berries, grasses, and other living materials. These will be harvested and used in dishes served in the UPMC Children’s cafeteria, a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant (Silver) facility.
“We thank Green Mountain Energy Sun Club for its generosity in helping us build the Edible Garden and Mindfulness Path,” said Rachel Petrucelli, president of UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This beautiful outdoor space provides a welcoming patio for hospital patients, visitors, and staff to rest, recharge and enjoy a safe and inviting outdoor area. We are grateful that Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has invested in helping us create a relaxing and peaceful space that is a great asset to the hospital in many ways.”
The edible garden will provide teaching and experiential learning opportunities for patients. In collaboration with the Sustainability/Green Team, Healthy Eating Advisory Studio (Heat) and Dream Big Studio, patients can help harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the garden to use as fresh ingredients while learning about healthy eating and creating their own TV and radio shows to share with other children in Dream Big Studio.
“Green Mountain Energy Sun Club is honored to be part of this innovative project with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation to promote sustainability and education,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager of Green Mountain Energy. “The addition of the Edible Garden and Mindfulness Path provides access to safe and sustainable spaces to practice improving personal health and the health of our planet.”
The entire project was built sustainably, featuring vermiculture composting, drip irrigation, solar-powered automatic irrigation systems and lighting, a Big Belly solar-powered recycling station and seating elements. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is designed as a “green” campus, and two buildings have received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The hospital has received a “Certified” rating, and the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center earned a “Silver” rating.
About UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation
UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation is the catalyst that unites communities and contributors to create healthier futures for all children through life-changing care and cutting-edge research. As the sole fundraising arm of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, we support their vision of being the world leader in pediatric health care, education, and discovery. The Foundation is a public charity under 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. For more information, visit www.givetochildrens.org.
About Green Mountain Energy Sun Club
Green Mountain Energy is changing the way power is made and advancing sustainable communities through the work of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Since its founding in 2002, Sun Club® has donated more than $11 million to 143 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. Sun Club collaborates with nonprofit organizations on projects that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship. To learn more about Green Mountain Energy and Sun Club or to apply for a Sun Club grant, visit greenmountain.com/sunclub.
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